Atlas Travel and Study Abroad is a host and coordinating service for 3 unique programs in Costa Rica:

  • Atlas’ GAP Year Program – Atlas’ GAP Year program was launched in Fall of 2022 in partnership with MissionGo. This program offers two 90 day semesters in Costa Rica where high school graduates, ages 17-22, can study Spanish and Biblical studies as well as minister in Costa Rican communities. 
  • College Study Abroad Courses – Atlas collaborates with colleges in the United States to design educational experiences in Costa Rica for their students’ course. 
  • Short-Term Trips – Atlas organizes and hosts short-term trips for Christian high schools, colleges, churches and para-church ministries that include both ministry and adventure in Costa Rica.

For each of Atlas’ programs, Atlas is responsible for all logistics, such as customizing a trip itinerary, transportation, lodging, meals, and excursions. Atlas is located in Santo Domingo (Heredia), Costa Rica.

Andy with his son, Brayden, after the GAP baptism ceremony at Punta Leona - Thanksgiving 2022
Andy with his son, Brayden, after the GAP baptism ceremony at Punta Leona - Thanksgiving 2022

Our Story     

In 2021, Andy Gordley started Atlas Travel and Study Abroad as a family business. He had been a missionary for over twenty years and during the pandemic saw an opportunity to merge his love for serving God with a sustainable overseas business that could support its own ministry ventures. Andy envisioned groups from colleges, high schools and churches coming down to Costa Rica to study as well as to grow spiritually. A few months into running the business, Andy realized that he also wanted to relaunch the GAP program. He had been the director of a GAP program in San Jose, Costa Rica for 10 years and loved it. He knew that the program made a huge impact in many lives. He enlisted the help of his previous partner, Jeff Hackett, and the two of them worked to open the GAP Year Program in the Fall of 2022. 


Meet our Staff

Andy Gordley is the director of Atlas Travel and Study Abroad. He oversees the Gap Year Program. He and Tina have 6 children and have been married for 22 years. They have lived in Costa Rica for 12 years. Andy and Tina are graduates from Lancaster Bible College.  

Andy Gordley is the director of Atlas Travel and Study Abroad. He oversees the Gap Year Program. They have 6 children and have been married for 22 years. They have lived in Costa Rica for 12 years. Andy and Tina are graduates from Lancaster Bible College.  

Evan and Nancy Esh met as Gap students in 2014 and were married in 2018. They went on to graduate from Lancaster Bible College and are now serving as Atlas’ Assistant Directors of the Gap Year Program. They have an infant son named Malachi. 

Abby Tyson is serving as an Atlas intern for the GAP Year program. She was first introduced to Atlas Travel and Study Abroad when she came for a a short-term trip with her graduating class from Christian Central Academy in NY, in 2021. She returned for a month-long entrepreneurship class in the Spring of 2022 and as a GAP student for the school year of 2022-2023.

Dan Tyson serves as the student life director for Atlas’ GAP Year program. and assists with leading short-term educational groups. He first learned about Atlas when he came for a month-long entrepreneurship class that Atlas hosted during the Spring of 2022. He returned in the Fall of 2022 as an Atlas intern and served in that capacity until the Summer of 2023. Dan is currently studying online with Indiana Wesleyan University.

Payton Gehman first heard about Atlas Travel and Study Abroad when he came to Costa Rica on his senior class trip in Spring of 2022. During the trip he felt led to return as a GAP Year student. He graduated from the GAP Program in 2023 and is returning as an intern. His role will be to assist the program in any way needed and to be a guide for the students.

Chelsie Huber discovered Atlas Travel and Study Abroad when she came to Costa Rica on her senior class trip in Spring of 2022. She learned about the GAP program and decided to return as a student. During her GAP year she fell in love with Costa Rica and the GAP ministry. She stepped out in faith and is returning as an intern. Her role will be to assist the program in any way needed and to be present and helpful to students.

 

Jeff is the GAP Year Director of USA Operations and Logistics. He has been helping to mobilize the local Church for missions while helping believers live missionally for the past 16 years. He and his wife, Cindy, live in Buffalo, NY.

Eric and Christy Champion are missionaries who partner with Atlas. They have lived in San Jose, Costa Rica for the last 10 years and have 3 adult children. Eric is pastor of Comunidad Gracia and serves as our primary Bible teacher for the GAP Year program. 

Meet our local staff

L-R: Isabel Martínez (cleaning), Diana Chacón (cleaning and kitchen), Vivian Madrigal (cook), and Adolfo Sánchez (caretaker)

Julianna Gutiérrez
Julianna Gutiérrez
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“Three members of our team, plus myself, had food allergies/preferences (ranging from Celiac Disease to Vegetarian) and were unsure how we would navigate those restrictions in another country. However, the Atlas team far exceeded all of our expectations and made sure that we had food safely prepared with all of our needs met at every meal. More than that, the love and understanding that was shown to us eased all of our worries regarding food for the week and allowed us to be able to focus on what really mattered. We love the Atlas team and miss their cooking!! Thank you for an unforgettable week.”